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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Off to Buffalo's Countryside for Cream Tea and Scones

Loading our tour bus after breakfast the schedule for the final day of Buffalo Bloggers Meet-Up was organized with better-than-you-could-ask-for activities.

Just like each previous day. Another huge thank you to Jim and Elizabeth for an amazing job putting this event together!

First up, we were off to the test gardens at the Erie Basin.

Followed by a tour of a national historic site, the beautiful Buffalo Botanical Gardens, where every imaginable tropical plant was thriving in the conservatory. Then it was on to Lockwood's Greenhouses including a picnic lunch in the cool of the shade on the grounds. Even a surprise meet-up with the author of one of my favorite gardening books. More on these place later.

For the last scheduled stop of the day we were driving south.

When it dawned on me we were going 'out' of the city for the afternoon curiosity and anticipation set in. What a delightful surprise it was to view the countryside of Buffalo.

While I loved staying in the city of Buffalo where a mix of historic neighborhoods and businesses mingle, I suppose I'm the simplest of country-girls at heart. If given a choice... take me out of the city to woodlands and open sky where the soul is awakened by organic realities at every turn.

Where each sound is crisp and clear and nature fills up every one of the senses. The music is birdsongs calling from the canopy of trees high overhead. Sunlight dappling the woodland floor with shadowy movements as the gentle breezes sway the limbs and leaves above.

At the Shadrack's a ravine of crystal clear water trickling with steady movement over layers and levels of rocks that starts from up the hill and flows under the house and out the other side as far as the eye can see.

The most delightful hosts, avid gardeners, and authors specializing in hostas and daylilies Mike and Kathy Shadrack served all 70 + guests cream tea and scones in the most gracious English style.

The deck that juts out over the creek below made a perfect setting for everyone to mingle while enjoying afternoon tea.

Upon arrival and the Shadrack's very welcoming greeting (with the most cheery English voice) all of us scattered about down rock pathways and up stone steps to many levels of borders carved into the hillsides on every side of their lovely home.

Their enchanting acreage cut out of the hillside is filled with daylilies, hostas, grasses, hydrangeas, and various species of perennials.

Twists and turns down so many winding pathways up and down hills and around corners each one filled with beautiful flowers and whimsical appointments.

Mike Shadrack was very proud to show us his newly created mini-hosta rock garden growing in filtered sunlight. And all of us were equally impressed with this new concept.

It was a pleasantly warm summer day. Separated from the chattering crowd, a few of us thought it worth kicking our shoes off for a reviving walk straight into the cooling waters of the flowing creek.

We followed it upwards to increasingly higher levels of what appeared to be naturally cut out of flagstone rock (not certain what kind of rock) smoothed by the cool running creek.

It was a most refreshing end to a great day. I could have stayed there much longer. It reminded me of being in the mountains of North Carolina where we love to vacation.

I realize I've started backwards with my review of this fabulous trip to Buffalo. Probably because the Shadrack's place was so enthralling and the highlight for me. I'll get to the rest of the trip as time permits. In the meantime be sure to go here for other blogger's reviews.


  1. It was enchanting, wasn't it? Tea and scones in the woods. I was so excited for you all to visit this garden. I'd only seen it for the first time two days before and new it would be a highlight of the tour. Glad it was at the end of our last, and long, day. Mike & Kathy are expert hosts, as you've found. As Mike yelled, "Kathy, there's people in the creek!" he was so happy you were there, feeling relaxed, and enjoying yourselves. Oh, and they have a nice garden too.

  2. I did love going to see that garden. Delightful, charming, relaxing... and I think that is me and Pam/Digging in that gazing ball picture?

  3. Wow, that was beautiful, Meems! Love that gazing ball photo! All of your photos make me feel like I was there. : ) Must have been awesome to meet a garden author. Those Asiatic lilies are amazing. I think I saw those same ones on Rosie's blog recently; they were called 'Netty's Pride.' Wish we could grow those down here.

  4. Thank you, thank you for that lovely review of our garden and cream tea. If there is one moment that stands out from that day, it's of watching you all slowly make your way up the creek... we didn't actually know if we'd see you again. Come back - we love people. Kathy Shadrack

  5. I am a Tampa Bay area resident who grew up with the woods are streams of upstate NY as my backyard and you have made me a bit homesick.:)

    I don't know if your trip allows, but the Cooperstown area is amazing for it's natural and rustic beauty. Longwood Gardens outside of Philadelphia is stunning too. Happy travels!

  6. What wonderful pics! I, too, am a country girl at heart. Being so close to nature and hearing nothing but the critters is the most relaxing thing in the world, next to sitting on the beaches of the Gulf and watching the sunset!

  7. Jim,
    I can't tell you how happy I am you guys included this in our day. It is the one place we could not have seen any other way. It was so peaceful up the creek. When we got as far as we could go up the rocks we could hear a pen drop.

    It was so natural and calming. Yes, I knew it was Pam ~ must be you next to her... and several others in the background.

    Our lilies will never be like those will they? We have to be happy with our bananas and colocasias.

    Dear Kathy,
    It never occurred to me you or Mike could actually read this but I am honored. When I first arrived I went to the rock garden first then I caught sight of the creek on the other side of it and was trying to figure a way to get down to it from that moment. Little did I know it ran under the house and we could get down to it that way. It was the perfect end to a perfect visit. Thank YOU for a beautiful time.

  8. ~~ that would be 'pin' drop. Proofread first, Meems!

  9. You are so clever with your images. I wish you could travel to more gardens but I certainly know how great is is to be home with your family, friends and your garden. Thanks for sharing your trip.

  10. Hi Daisy,
    So nice to have you stop by. I've always heard wonderful things about upstate NY in summertime. What a beautiful place it must be. If I grew up there it would be tempting to go spend summers there to get away from this heat in Tampa. We are back already and we only had so much time. Maybe next time we can see more.

    SW FL GWB,
    It seems you have the perfect arrangement to fulfill your country girl desires. The beaches and the country... my two favorite places, too.

    I'd love to see more as well. As much as I am a homebody... I never mind seeing another garden. :-)

  11. You all had such a good time. I am glad to be ablet to read about it. That stroll through the creek looks like the most fun.

  12. My feet were killing me that day--if only I had thought of the creek. But it was still a wonderful visit.

  13. You caught me and Carol in the gazing ball! I was standing there trying to get her portrait in the ball, which I'll have up on my blog soon. Too funny.

    So nice to meet you in person, Meems. I hope to see you in Seattle next year!

  14. You all certainly had a great time.
    I'm having fun seeing it through all the different eyes of garden bloggers.

    Thanks for sharing.


  15. Oh, the Shadrack's place looks like pure heaven. I can see why you were taken with it. So glad to hear you had a wonderful trip. Can't wait to hear more.

  16. Enjoyed your photos and narrative. I'm a country girl too, but I do love to visit the city gardens!

    The Shadrack gardens look like botanical gardens!

  17. I can't even begin to describe what a joy it was to finally meet and talk~The entire weekend was perfect~Cream Tea in the shade, touring that garden and imaging the creek running under the house~It was so much fun. Were you on the tour bus that went backwards up the drive?
    Hugs to you my dear! I hope to see you when it's cool in Tampa! xxgail

  18. Meems, you're a fantastic photographer! I missed that interesting lily at the Shadrack's. I so enjoyed meeting you at Buffa10 and I hope we can meet up again soon.

  19. i think i can recognize you in the gazing ball too ~ but for sure i know your two feet in the creek cool off pic ;-) really lovely post of a "far-away garden" site! what gracious hosts you met in NY! they have created a welcoming, restful, and beautiful place to share with others ~ isn't that what gardening is really about?

  20. This place was magic. the whole experience of being in the woods, sipping tea and having wonderful conversation. I'm ready to start the Buffa10 experience all over again!

  21. Great, thank you for letting us be with you on that trip! I can almost feel the cold water on my feet too walking barefoot. I love also that reflection on whatever that bubble that is, as well as the feet of friends. What a lovely walk. Never mind the scones, i prefer the scenes, shooting and walking. hehe, thanks.

  22. So enjoyed your great photos and catching up on your fun Buffalo trip ... lasting memories! How fun to meet the gardening crew of awesome bloggers. I thought of you often ...

  23. What a great trip that must have been. I look forward to seeing and reading more. That gazing ball picture is so nice. Love all the feet too. Seeing the plants and flowers of other climates is always intriguing.

  24. If I hadn't been wearing hightops I'd have joined you in the creek. It was just fantastic.

  25. This looks beautiful! It actually reminds me of my dream to have a house with a charming lawn where the kids can run and play.


Have a blessed day,

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